Multi-jurisdiction, multi-channel success
Founded over 50 years ago, Krëfel is one of Belgium’s longest established electronics retailers. Back in the 60s, Krëfel ’s founder saw growing demand for new products like black and white televisions, transistor radios and tape recorders along with many innovations designed to ‘help the housewife’ – automatic washing machines, fridges, cookers, vacuum cleaners and coffee makers – and opened his first retail store.
Today, based primarily in out-of-town retail parks across Belgium, the company has 75 stores of up to 3,000m2. In addition, a further 33 stores also stock a wide range of kitchens and homewares.
Like many retailers, Krefel had been issuing paper gift vouchers to customers for some time. These vouchers were printed by staff on dedicated instore printers as they were ordered.
In late 2011, Krefel were recommended by their Elavon Relationship Manager to explore the Elavon gift card product provided to their merchants via their partner Savvy. Krefel had coincidentally already decided to start selling Apple’s iTunes gift cards in their stores so the opportunity to now sell their own gift cards was very appealing.
Said Frederik Goris, Financial Director, “We were aware that we could improve our existing paper gift card program and we could see the ease with which customers were buying iTunes gift cards. This gave us the incentive we needed to start looking for our own gift card programme that could be implemented across all of our stores, and which could be integrated with our existing EPOS system.”
Following the workshop we could see that there was much more potential than we initially thought when considering a gift card programme.
A requirements workshop, attended by Savvy and Elavon representatives, was planned at Krefel’s Brussels HQ including several store visits to fully understand the Krefel product range and customer experience in store. At this workshop, Savvy proposed to Krefel that they should broaden the scope of requirements from instore gift cards to include eVouchers – digital gift cards and promotional vouchers which could be redeemed instore and online. This quickly became part of the core project scope which was initiated by Krefel following the workshop.
Continued Goris, “Following the workshop we could see that there was much more potential than we initially thought when considering a gift card programme. The Marketing team became very excited by the opportunities that an eVoucher product offering presented so we decided to include this as a core element of the service from Day 1. Initially we saw eVouchers as an extension of physical gift cards, which would be issued by email instead of on a plastic card. However this evolved to a non gift application in the form of a promotional marketing campaign tool that would allow us to bulk issue eVouchers by email to drive sales.”
To bring the eVoucher solution to life for Krefel, Savvy developed Campaign Manager, the online eVoucher control tool which allows Krefel marketing staff to create branded eVoucher campaigns in three languages (French, Flemish and English) that can be quickly generated online and instantly issued to recipients via email as a PDF. These eVouchers are printed by recipients at home and contain a unique barcode and voucher code for instore or online redemption by the recipient.
The issuance of a unique barcode also enhances Krefel’s tracking and campaign management. This allows Krefel to understand the impact its campaigns have on sales, where vouchers are redeemed, on what types of products, and the net result on profit.
In addition to their eCommerce platform supplied by a third party, Krefel operate an in-house EPOS platform with product barcode scanning capability so it was decided early in the process that all cards and eVouchers redeemed instore would be via this barcode scanning system. For a smooth customer experience it was essential that both stores and the website could redeem gift cards and eVouchers so both systems would need to connect in real-time to STORE24 for transaction processing. Savvy’s technical team worked closely with representatives from Krefel’s technology teams. System integration to the Savvy platform (STORE24) via the XML gateway for both EPOS and eCommerce systems went extremely smoothly and delivered on time as a key project strand.
The gift card and eVoucher product launch went ahead on schedule for July 2012 and has seen Krefel successfully deploy a broad selection of the tools available from Savvy’s STORE24 platform to engage its customers, drive more customers into its stores, broaden its channels to market, and increase revenues.
“We’re very pleased with the success of this project and choice of partners in Savvy and Elavon. Our customer experience has been extremely positive both during and after the implementation process and we would recommend them to any retailer considering their services in this area.”